March 2021

“And He was saying to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”  Luke 10:2

As a family we have invested a lot of our energy into reestablishing our home life here in Uganda.  We know that we can’t win “away” when we are losing at home.  It has been exactly a year since we were first displaced from our home in the Corona confusion.  Although we spent time in our house since then, this past month was the first we truly felt the peace of a home base.  As part of that we have officially started our children’s schooling and it’s crazy to us that we even have children that are old enough for school.  Please pray for Noelle as she starts her new life as a teacher. 

This past month I had the weighty privilege of teaching the majority of 1 Corinthians to the students in our pastoral school of discipleship.  When Paul learned of the problems in the church at Corinth he wrote them an appeal to godliness.  After identifying and defining each area of their weakness; e.g. division, sexual immorality, confusion in their worship services etc.  Paul responded with a piece of the story of our Savior, and showed them how the Gospel changes us and gives us a new way of life.  When you and I take our eyes off of the deceitful pleasures of the world, and take an honest look at our broken evil state, the need for Christ’s redemptive work grows more and more obvious.  The more we recognize sin as sin, the more we see our great personal need for a Savior.  It is then that we can appreciate just how great the Gospel really is.  Only the advent, life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord can transform a heart and take a soul from darkness and death to light and life.  Please pray for our churches to be preaching this gospel of hope.

The fields are large.  The work ahead for every one of God’s Gospel laborers is huge.  At times it can be overwhelming to realize just how big the task really is.  But God keeps reminding me of the parable of the Seed in Mark 4.  Just as the farmer doesn’t really understand or control the growth of his crops; neither can we understand or control how God moves in the hearts of men and women.  When God’s hand moves, only He can take the credit.  May God work mightily on the earth today.

“So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”  1 Corinthians 3:7

May God Bless You,

Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline, Noah & Charlotte

February 2021

“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Rom 15:5-6
Pikes Peak mountain range

We were blessed beyond words during our time with you in the United States, and now we are blessed to be back home in Uganda.  We spent our last days in the U.S. meeting with many of you and speaking at events.  Our prayer is that God will unite our hearts and voices together in prayer for our lost and dying world.  May the Spirit of God bring revival both here and there to the glory of His own name, and may we each be obedient to do His will at the expense of our own. 

Our children exhausted from 3 days of travel

We thought it best to use this opportunity to remind some of you, and inform others of you for the first time, what exactly it is that we are a part of over here.  We live among the Acholi people in Northern Uganda.  Here we work with Terebinth Ministries, a mission from Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel, of Colorado Springs.  Terebinth exists to bring health to the Ugandan Church.  We do this through a Pastoral School of Discipleship, a Business As Mission, and a Widows Ministry. 

Noelle & Charlotte inspecting the work on our house

According to BEE World (Biblical Extension Education), fewer than 9 out of 1,000 pastors in the country of Uganda have formal Biblical training.  And according to the Baptist Coalition, only 4% of self-proclaimed born again people can answer the question “what does it mean to be born again.”  Therefore, despite Uganda being a Christian nation, there is much work to be done here, especially in the North where Joseph Kony’s LRA wreaked havoc for 3 decades. 

Matt teaching a class of pastors

The Terebinth School of Discipleship is our flagship mission.  Here we train pastors through the whole of God’s word, teaching them to interpret Scripture with Scripture.  The pastors and church leaders come to our church, Calvary Chapel Gulu, on a Sunday evening and spend the entire week studying with us.  In the course of the week they study through one or two books of the Bible (depending on the length of the book) and before leaving on Saturday, they take a test proving their understanding of what they learned.  At the end of three years they read through the whole bible twice and become familiar with all that God has said.   

Serving our customers at BAM

The Pastoral School is made possible because of the hard work done at our second mission, BAM (Business As Mission) Enterprises.  Given the poverty of our area, it would be infeasible for these men to spend a quarter of their lives for three years in school and cover the cost of their own schooling, on top of their family expenses and other responsibilities.  The funds that we raise from BAM bridge that gap.  BAM is a large scale farming operation that mostly deals in poultry and the buying and selling of grain. The operation revolves around 4,000+ chickens and a variety of milling machines.  We buy grains and sell the milled products while using the by-products to feed our birds.  Our prayer is that with time BAM becomes the financial engine for our ministry.

One our groups of widow’s after their Bible study

Our Widow’s ministry is where the left and right arms of the Pastoral School and BAM come together to care for “the least of these.”  We currently work with six of our graduated pastors in an effort to bless the widows that surround their churches.  The pastors have committee’s that meet with their corresponding widows once a week for group discipleship and once a month they are provided with a food package and a business package from BAM.  In this way, God is providing 160 widows and 500 fatherless children with discipleship, community, food and business. 

Chasing a camel on the highway
May God bless you and use you for the expansion of His kingdom,
In Christ,
Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline, Noah & Charlotte Harris

January 2021

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27:14.

Over our time in Nebraska it was a great joy to see our kids playing contentedly with their cousins, learning the names of SO MANY aunts and uncles, and getting to know my parents. When we were still living in America we did not get many opportunities for traveling to see my (Noelle) family, and even then the older girls were too young to remember. It was special for me to see them together with my family, as if they’d been with them all along though they’ve hardly known them. My dearest memories of our time in Nebraska are of our excited kids going on their “dates” with my mom and taking care to go love on their Papa: Noah climbing on his back (dad didn’t seem to mind); Emma leading dad around the house, taking great care to steer him due to his blindness; my dad, as progressed as he is in his Alzheimer’s, holding his cup by only his teeth and showing off to the little kids. And when he opened his normally closed eyes, looked straight at Maddie, and asked what she thought about it. She wasn’t sure what to think. I am thankful for God’s gift to us in the form of my family. I would find it hard to be on the field if they were not so behind us in our mission. Their love does not make me feel guilty for not staying longer (though time with them is always too short), their love frees me to GO! Not every missionary has a family supporting them in their calling, we are extremely blessed to have both families backing us.


Since our return to Colorado Springs we have spent our time doing paperwork and finishing our doctor appointments.  Acquiring government documentation can be tough enough, but with the Covid lag, it has truly proven challenging.  So far we have finished renewing passports for our older girls and we have obtained the birth certificate, SSN and passport for our baby.  However, before we can head back home we are still awaiting the return of Noelle’s and Noah’s passports that were turned in with Noah’s SSN application.  We hope to receive those soon so we can buy our tickets back to Uganda.  Although it is possible to return during these uncertain times it will be difficult because we have to have negative Covid tests 72 hours before our arrival back home.  The good news is that tickets are cheap right now for whatever reason.

We have truly enjoyed our time catching up with all of you here, but we are so excited to return back to the other work God has for us.  Please pray that our return would be smooth and soon. 

In Christ,

Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline, Noah & Charlotte Harris

December 2020

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

About 2000 years ago God sent His only Son to redeem us from our enslavement to sin. Today we have hope and peace with God because of His life, death, resurrection and ascension. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Davis family Christmas

Last year, 2020, we all saw our need for that Hope more than ever. The true condition of the world was revealed, as fear and death reigned through the virus and the lockdowns. Our hearts were unmasked as we were all polarized against each other. We have always needed Jesus, but perhaps that’s clearer to us now more than ever. Personally I feel as if I’ve been reduced to a small child, desperately dependent on his Father. It’s sad that it takes so much for us to accept the embrace of God’s loving arms, but praise God for His ever present help in time of trouble. May we be effective ambassadors for Christ, not announcing our opinions but faithfully proclaiming to all God’s message of reconciliation. 

In this year of 2021, we are excited to see the plans that God has in store for our family and ministry. We have almost finished our furlough, which has blessed us in many ways. If God wills, we plan on returning to our home in Northern Uganda sometime in February. We know that God has renewed our vision and given us greater knowledge and wisdom during this respite, so that we will be a more effective tool when we return. We look forward to reuniting with all of our teammates and fellow laborers in the Gospel.  In particular we are excited to graduate our 2nd class of pastors this coming Spring, and we are even more excited to watch how God provides as we work toward opening a second campus for the pastoral school. When that happens, I have been asked to assume the role as director over that campus.  

Praise God:
  • For the gift of His Son, Jesus who has purchased us from sin and death.  Merry Christmas!
  • For another chance to draw near to God as He draws near to us.  Happy New Year!
Please Pray:
  • For our daughter’s passport to come in quickly.  Paperwork is moving slowly during this COVID time.
  • For our return home to Uganda. 
  • That the Lord provides for the second campus of our school of discipleship.

In Christ,

Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline, Noah & Charlotte

November 2020

“For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Romans 1:11-12

Our furlough continues to be the fulfilling of what Paul longed for, the opportunity to meet with and be encouraged together with so many brothers and sisters in the faith.  We are always reminded of the ministry we have left in Uganda for this short time, and the work we have still remaining here in the US.  Being here in America has been it’s own kind of ministry, one with it’s own reward, namely, the joy of being reunited with ones we have left long ago, and the strengthening of our faith as we see and hear testimonies of what God was doing while we were away.  It has been a tremendous blessing to us.

Some of our friends who came out to help us paint

During our few weeks in Colorado (we will return there after visiting Noelle’s family in Nebraska), we were very happy to be staying in the building of one of our supporting churches. We had prayed for a place where we could receive visitors without disrupting a host family, where the kids could be kids, somewhere close to family, and where we could be a blessing. God answered by letting us stay at Colorado Freedom Church, which was the church Matt grew up attending, just down the street from his parents’ house. The church had a small gym area where the kids were free to play, and we were able to bless them with some remodeling. It also served as a base for Matt to earn some money, which we used to purchase the next 4 years of our children’s homeschool curriculum. CFC has been supporting us from the beginning, and we were so happy that they allowed us to stay there!

We spent Thanksgiving week with Matt’s grandparents in Kansas. Seeing our kids interact with their great-grandparents was precious, and we were happy to get a few pictures in the process. We are so thankful that with the love offering collected by the church there, we were able to send money back to Uganda. It will be used to purchase land and build a roof for one of the churches that has been planted by our church in Uganda. We continue to pray for the ability to do the same for 19 other churches there.

During most of our time in CO and even on our trip through KS, we were blessed with the company of our niece Moriah, who was lent to us by Noelle’s oldest brother and his wife for nearly 6 weeks while Noelle recovered from the c-section. The kids really love her, and although she is still young, her maturity is beyond her years and she really helped reinforce what we aim for in parenting. She was a God-send in help as well as friendship!

Praise God:

  • For health during our travels.
  • For places to stay.
  • For ability to see family.
  • For opportunities to speak at churches.
  • For funding for the church plot.
  • For Moriah!

Please pray:

  • For our presentation at Noelle’s childhood church this weekend.
  • For additional funding ($1,500/each) for the other 19 churches who currently meet under trees and on rented property.
  • For continued health for our family.
  • For us to be filled with the Spirit to share with others the good news of what Christ has done and continues to do!

In Christ,

Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline, Noah, & Charlotte

October 2020

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness.”  Psalm 33:18

Life just keeps going and going as we continue to visit friends and family.  We started October with a wonderful stay with our sending organization, Saving Grace World Mission, in Yorba Linda, California.  It is wonderful to serve alongside so many people devoted to the Lord, and we were very blessed by the sincere love of Christ shown by all the staff and community connected to Saving Grace.  Heading South, we came into Tecate, Mexico, to visit Matt’s brother and sister-in-law, Josh and Laura.  It was encouraging to be with them, to reconnect with Josh and to get to know Laura, since we hadn’t had opportunity before their wedding last year. It was also very special to spend time with our Mexican “Mama’s”. We had been on many short term trips to Tecate, and Matt had even spent 5 months living with Ma Elena and her family.  Being able to introduce them to their honorary grandchildren was precious.   On our way back to CO we stopped briefly in Phoenix to visit several friends.  We were also greatly encouraged there.  A few hours from home we had unexpected trouble with our vehicle. God brought friends who happened to live at the next Interstate exit, and they helped us home the next day. Praise God for His providence and protection!

Charlotte Hope was born on October 22 by C-section, the life verse we chose for her is printed above: Psalm 33:18.  We praise God for the safe procedure and delivery of our beautiful daughter, and the excellent care at the hospital here in Colorado Springs.  Emma and Madeline are happy to have another baby to love on, but Noah is very convinced that this is HIS baby. He loves her and with careful help, will hold her for as long as he can get away with. He is a fine big brother. While still admitted for recovery, God allowed us to get to know and pray for one of the nurses who cared for Noelle.  She became our friend, and we were even invited to come and meet her husband in their home.  What a blessing!

When you are open to whatever God has planned, it becomes a treat to be a part of it.  We have been blessed with many treats this month!!

Many blessings in Christ,
Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline, Noah, and Charlotte

September 2020

“God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.”  Psalm 68:6

I am grateful for the time God has given us to see some of our many loved ones.  I just can’t describe how much you all mean to us.  Our family, dear friends, partners, and fellow servants of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we love you and words can’t describe what a blessing it is to interact with each one of you and we can’t wait to see those of you whom we have not yet met with.  God has truly made a home for us.  

We started off our furlough at my parents house in Colorado, doing things we haven’t done in so long: Walmart runs, doctors appointments, meeting with supporters, and buying winter coats (who would have thought there would be snow the last week of August?). After we were given the go-ahead by Noelle’s doctor, we set our GPS for Oregon and started our West-side road trip. Every place we stopped was a wonderful time of encouragement. We stayed 2 weeks with my sister and brother-in-law, who had just had their 3rd baby girl. This was very special for our whole family as this was the first chance we’ve had to see the house and property that the Lord had provided Anna and Jed after he lost his legs serving our country in Afghanistan, nearly 10 years ago.  It was a blessing to see the the Spirit at work in all of us as we were mutually encouraged and strengthened.  We then finished out the month by visiting Yosemite National Park to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary!

Furlough has also provided a great time for me to further my Biblical education. I am currently taking classes to study the history of Israel, and to learn how to read and write in ancient Hebrew! We thank God for this amazing opportunity!

With Love,
Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline & Noah Harris

August 2020

“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation.  My God will hear me.”  Micah 7:7

August was a month of change and transition from the LORD, both for Terebinth Ministries and for our family.  

Like every other entity, our ministry has been trying to navigate the Covid crisis.  When the lock-down started on March 30th, schools were closed down along with businesses, churches, government offices, and the like.  And of course, the Terebinth School of Discipleship was temporarily closed.  We had expected for the schools to open up by harvest time (Jul-Aug), but when it became evident that the reopening was going to delay, we decided as a team to find alternatives to our regular classes.  With prayer and counsel, our leadership decided to start running a temporary alternative class style.  Because of restrictions against meeting in large groups, we have divided our class up into 6 small groups, at different locations and at different times.  Each student is given the student handbook a week in advance of their meeting to prepare them for the main points, the small groups meet for 2 days and watch a prerecorded teaching on the book being studied. They are guided by 2 teachers to further understand the content of the book, and then tested.  We eagerly await our normal class style, but we are thankful for the ability to continue engaging the minds of our pastors in the meantime.  

As we have expressed before, this is also a season of exciting change for our medical clinic, “Dream Center Uganda Health Center III”.  Since its opening in 2012, the clinic has survived many problems, and when Terebinth Ministries took it over in 2017, there were crippling tax debts, no policies, no documentation, deep-seated community relations’ issues and very few patients coming through the doors. Since that time, the numbers have increased drastically; the care is superior to other health centers in the area, the reputation has come a long way to being restored and the records keeping is maintained at a high standard. We have worked to balance affordable care with quality care. However, to date, the clinic is still running at a deficit, and unfortunately our prices are still too high.  As a leadership team we have come to understand that we have gone as far with the clinic as we are able, and that in order to reach higher we need help.  With that in mind we have partnered with another ministry which is successfully operating 26 clinics here in the North.  The doors of the clinic were officially closed August 26th, and will be reopened under their management on the 1st of October.  With their connections, resources, and tested expertise, we know that the community is in good hands and that their future is bright! The clinic will be run with higher quality, lower prices for the community, and with less deficit.

The last change we want to share with you is of our arrival in the USA. In July we had announced our plans to visit America, and since then it has been a rush of events as we organized our home, packed a few bags, and even had 1 cancelled flight and a delay of almost 2 weeks before reaching Colorado.  Now here we are, trying to re-integrate and navigate this “new” America with all of it’s challenges.  We are very thankful to be with our family, and to have the opportunity to encourage and be encouraged by our faithful partners and friends.  We look forward to the next few months as we share with you all, see faces both new and known, and await the arrival of the new baby. 

Here are a few things we would love for you to pray for, if you would take a moment:

  • For the pastoral school as they continue in a new, supplementary way. That the teachers would be dedicated to discipleship, and that the students would have hearts and minds ready to receive.
  • For the medical clinic and our community, as they change to the new medical management. Pray that there would be peace, and that it would be seen as a blessing early on in the transition.
  • Pray for our family as we face so many changes, from culture and diet to time zones and the new social aspects. Pray for peace, health, and wisdom for us in this new environment.
In Christ,
Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline & Noah

July 2020

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.  To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night… For you, O Lord have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.”  Psalm 92: 1-2,4.
(This photo was taken by our wonderful teammate, Cassie)

This COVID season has brought about poverty and hunger here in Uganda.  Because of the temporary shut down of businesses and schools, we can see the effects of the declined economy everywhere we look.  People are getting thinner and thinner.  There is also a spiritual poverty that came with the shut down of churches, and people are getting dryer and dryer.  But God is on the move bringing provision to the desperate and giving a tremendous hunger for Himself during these trying times.  

July 31st marked the end of our food distribution program.  Our team at BAM (Business As Mission) Enterprises had been working literally day and night to produce the quantity of food that was being given at our distribution points.  For the last 4 months, we have had volunteers handing out food to people pre-approved by the local government.  Each food package consisted of more than 30lbs of food, and everyone who received the package also had the Gospel preached to them.  By the hand of God, and by your support, we managed to feed more than 60,000 desperate people!  And so many people were getting saved that it became difficult to keep track of! During that same time, we were also distributing food to our in-patients, and we had certain medicines at discounted prices at our clinic.

We have also seen the effects spiritually.  I have seen the results of increased domestic abuse and have personally stopped 2 cases of violence.  Suicide and teen pregnancy are on the rise, and hopelessness is through the roof. But God is good and His Word has still been going out through tiny fellowships for these last 4 months.  I want to share a testimony of what God is doing through the fellowships in our own home…

(Our dear friend and her 4 sisters made up a whole service. It’s been a blessing for them to fellowship with our family since they are from a different tribe and do not speak the local language, making it difficult to join the other groups)

A few weeks ago two teenage boys from our village were led to our house by a good friend of mine to fellowship with us.  They quickly told me that God had been convicting them of their sinful lifestyles and that they wanted to repent and be saved.  After they had gotten saved and we had ended the service, one of them asked if we could preach at his home the following week, and that his family was also ready to get saved.  When the next weekend came, one of those teenagers brought another of his friends to pray with us and he also got saved.  After finishing the fellowships at our house that day we went to the first boy’s home and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  By the grace of God, almost the whole family came to salvation.  This week another of our neighbors brought my family to visit her family home in a neighboring village.  As her family gathered (nearly 30 people), we quickly saw that they too were in desperate need of hearing the Gospel.  So I asked them to find a translator for us.  We walked them through John 3:16-20, and our neighbor, her mother, her sister, her brother and her mother in law (the local witch doctor) all repented and believed. We left them with instructions to be meeting together to read the Bible and pray, and also to reach out to the other family members in love and patience.  And now we are awaiting this coming Wednesday, to honor the invitation to preach the gospel at that third boy’s home.  

(Ronald (third from the left), the first teenage boy, and his family that recently came to Christ)

Please pray for us as we are trying to prepare for our furlough, and as we continue to proclaim the Gospel. Pray for those ones who were saved, that they would grow even during this time of little church direction, and also for their families.

In Christ,

Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline & Noah

Furlough in the USA

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the Gospel from the first day until now.”  Phil 1:3-4

We are so grateful for your partnership in the Gospel with our family.  We have relied on your prayers for our strength and we have been blessed by your support.  May God richly bless you for what has been accomplished here because of you.  

I am writing to inform you of the exciting news that we are heading stateside for a furlough and we want to meet with you face to face, to hear from you, share with you and join with you in personal prayer.  We had planned to schedule a furlough in 2022 but it has become obvious that this will be the best time.  

– Because of the COVID-19 situation our pastoral school has been closed down along with all the other learning institutions in the country of Uganda.  And it doesn’t look like it will resume before 2021.  This will give us the freedom to come home without being very missed here.  

– By the grace of God we have found a wonderful ministry whose passion is for excellent  sustainable Christ-centered health care.  This group will soon take over the management of the Dream Center Uganda Health Center III.  Both taking it to the next level and further freeing my family to enjoy a rest in the US.

– We are also looking forward to the birth of our 4th child at the end of October and we see it will be best to receive him/her into the world stateside.

– Finally, the next Ugandan presidential elections will take place early next year and we are expecting it to come with turmoil and unrest.  

Travel Dates

Due to the nature of foreign travel at this time, the exact dates of our departure FROM Uganda and our return TO Uganda are not yet set in stone. Bellow is a tentative Itinerary for our time in your half of the world.  Please keep in mind that plans are subject to change, and that these are only estimations.  Look over it and email us at mattharris9000@gmail.com with details for when we can get together as soon as possible to better insure our time together.  

  • ColoradoAug 14th – Sep 10th, Oct 14th – Nov 20th
  • MedfordSep 13th – 27th  
  • Los AngelesSep 30th – Oct 4th
  • TecateOct 5th – 12th 
  • KansasNov 20th – 30th
  • NebraskaDec 1st – Jan 10th 
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in person very soon!

In Christ,

Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline and Noah Harris